Five Lies that Keep Us From Dreaming
- Thursday, March 21, 2013
I once knew a couple who longed to have children for years, but it never came to pass. The desire never went away, and in their sixties God called them to be “parents” to many children in a country far away. Now their family is bigger than they ever could have imagined. Like for Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament, the answer to their prayers seemed a long time coming...but it did come. And that wouldn’t have been possible unless they kept their hearts open to dreaming.
It’s only too late for our dreams when we decide to write “The End” on our stories and close the book. As an anonymous quote my mom has on her refrigerator reads, “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.”
Lie #4: “I Don’t Deserve to Dream”
The tears trickle down her face, and she reaches for a tissue. “But you don’t understand,” she says with a sigh. “I’ve messed up so much. The life I have now is a consequence of the choices I’ve made. I don’t get to have the desires of my heart—I’m paying for what I’ve done.”
I reach out my arms to her and try to wrap her up in words of grace too. “Your dreams aren’t about you,” I say. “They’re about what God wants to do in his kingdom through you. And he’ll use anyone—just look at some of the characters in the Bible! If adultery, murder, and deception didn’t stop him, then what you’ve done isn’t going to either!”
Listen closely, my friend. You have not been disqualiﬁed from dreaming. No matter what you’ve done. No matter what choices you’ve made. No matter what’s in your past. Dreams are about the future. We can say these words with the apostle Paul, a man who had murder, persecuting Christians, and a long list of other sins in his past: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13–14).
Lie #5: “I Don’t Have Time”
At some point we have to decide that the time for our dream is now—no matter what. Because in today’s world, normal never comes. There’s always more to do, another “when I...” to check off the list, another urgent demand to be met.
If the enemy can’t make us deny our dreams, then it seems his next tactic is to make us delay them. Yes, there are seasons for waiting and being still because that’s what God has asked us to do. I’m not talking about those. I’m speaking of the seasons when we let procrastination get the best of us (and we all do sometimes). It’s a great way to hold back the fear that inevitably comes when we actually pursue our dreams rather than just talking about them.
You don’t have to pursue your dream perfectly. You only have to do what you can. Efforts that fall short of your expectations are still always better than none at all. God can ﬁll in the gaps.
Only you know if this really is the season for your dream, and only you can decide to truly pursue it. I love the biblical phrase “for such a time as this” Esther 4:14 because it says so much about right here, right now. It’s not “for such a time as then” or “for such a time as that.” It speaks to today and the moments passing us by that will not come again.
You have time. I have time.
If it’s not the season for your dream, then embrace that and focus on what God has in front of you now. That’s honorable and faith-ﬁlled too.
But if it’s your moment to take that step, make that leap, birth that dream, then go for it with all your heart and don’t let anything or anyone block your way (or your schedule).
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